Neurotrophins in skin biology and pathology

Vladimir A. Botchkarev, Mina Yaar, Eva M.J. Peters, Siba P. Raychaudhuri, Natalia V. Botchkareva, Alessandra Marconi, Smriti K. Raychaudhuri, Ralf Paus, Carlo Pincelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


Neurotrophins (NTs) belong to a family of growth factors, which control the development, maintenance, and apoptotic death of neurons and also fulfill multiple regulatory functions outside the nervous system. Biological effects induced by NTs strongly depend on the pattern of NT receptor/co-receptors expression in target cells, as well as on the set of intracellular adaptor molecules that link NT signalling to distinct biochemical pathways. In this review, we summarize data on the molecular mechanisms underlying the involvement of NTs in the control of non-neuronal functions in normal skin (e.g. keratinocyte proliferation, melanocyte development and apoptosis, hair growth). We also review the data on the role for NTs and their receptors in a number of pathological skin conditions (stress-induced hair loss, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis). Although additional efforts are required to fully understand mechanisms underlying the involvement of NTs and their receptors in controlling functions of normal and pathologically altered skin cells, substantial evidence suggests that modulation of NT signalling by NTs receptor agonists/antagonists may be developed as intervention modalities in distinct skin and hair growth pathologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1719-1727
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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